With liquidity now at such premium, is providing it more important to clients than the much-heralded integrated, solutions-based approach to capital?


Alex Chambers
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Jim Esposito, head of syndicate and debt financing at Goldman Sachs
Sound advice and a solution-based approach are more important than ever before. Credit markets are challenging and volatile. You need much more than just liquidity to navigate safely through these markets.

Jean-François Mazaud, deputy head of capital raising and financing at SG
Liquidity has become a scarce resource for every issuer. It has thus become essential to be extremely smart with the access to capital markets. Those who have succeeded have used a mix of structured instruments and more commoditized products.

Roberto Isolani, joint head of global capital markets at UBS
You must be able to do both. Liquidity provision in the form of committed facilities, money market lines, repo, private placed debt is important, but so is having a holistic insightful approach.

Siddharth Prasad, head of EMEA FIG capital markets and financing at Merrill Lynch
Liquidity has become very important due to recent severe market dislocation, but clients still expect a solutions-based approach. Those with a global platform will continue to outperform.

Chris Tuffey, head of EEMEA debt capital markets at Credit Suisse 
The need to provide liquidity in the form of loans is still very important to a number of clients, particularly those that are suffering from limited availability of liquidity. However, most clients are looking for solutions to their needs, including funding, capital raising, asset and liability management advice.

Philippe Dufournier, co-head of global financing, Europe, at Lehman Brothers
There have been transactions that have helped financial institutions optimize the amount of regulatory capital that they need to support their business. And part of that optimization has taken the form of risk transfer rather than the issuance of securities. Being able to come up with ways to manage capital that didn’t take the shape of public raising of capital has been critical.

Miles Millard, European head of debt capital markets, Deutsche Bank
Over time clients need both, and Deutsche has consciously structured its coverage model to reflect this.

Martin Egan, head of primary and global head of debt capital markets at BNP Paribas
Providing liquidity has become more powerful on the one hand as cash is king. This gets you in front of the client and then enables the solution-focused discussion to occur. The balance between the two is crucial. What clients have wanted in the past six to nine months is liquidity, a solution approach and loyalty. The latter will become obvious as markets reopen. Banks that have stuck with issuer clients in tough times will look to reap benefits in the future.

Stephen Jones, head of European financing solutions group at Barclays Capital
The provision of liquidity to clients is key, as the credit crunch has continued in duration. Liquidity is however a short-term fix to what is increasingly becoming a longer-term problem.

Clients are increasingly looking for solutions that go beyond the simple provision of liquidity. This is leading to increased innovation in product development, particularly in the financial institutions space.

Corporates are also looking for longer-term, capital markets-based solutions to help them move away from the reliance on financial institution liquidity. Clients are assessing the gloomy outlook for traditional corporate lending, with many banks’ balance sheets still under pressure and lending standards being continually tightened.